FORMER First Lady Grace Mugabe and her son, Russell Goreraza, have both been ordered to pay US$278 304 to a local law firm which represented them in several court cases, one of which involved a botched $1,4 million diamond ring deal.
The order by the High Court, issued on November 15, 2019, followed an application for rescission of a default judgment that was filed by Mugabe and her son in April this year seeking to overturn the judgment on the basis that it had been issued in error.
According to court papers, the legal firm, Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners is said to have acted for Grace in her cases against a Lebanese national Jamal Ahmed, who she accused of duping her.
In a bid to recover her money, Mugabe is alleged to have “grabbed” three properties namely stand number 409 Harare Drive, Pomona; 18 Cambridge Road, Avondale and 75 King George, Avondale, all owned by Ahmed, but the latter later approached the courts and successfully retained his properties.
On January 15, 2019 High Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta ruled in favour of the law firm and ordered Grace and her son to pay the legal fees, before the duo filed for rescission which was recently determined by High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore.
The order by Justice Mushore simply said: “Application is dismissed with costs”.
Prior to Justice Mushore’s order, Justice Alpheus Chitakunye had ordered the duo to pay the law firm’s legal fees with costs as well.
According to Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners, Grace and her son approached them in December 2016 seeking legal services in respect of a number of cases linked to the diamond ring saga.
The firm said the pair also wanted to be legally represented in an urgent chamber application that was before the High Court under case number HC 12497/16. The legal services rendered included attending to all litigation procedures and hearings, the drafting of court processes, consultations, round table meetings over a two-year period.